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Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if he will take steps to seek the views of those living in the most deprived areas when examining the merits of formal city regional governance in conurbations outside London; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Part 6 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, which is currently being considered by the House, provides the legislative basis for economic prosperity boards and combined authorities. These bodies will provide a means for local authorities to pool functions and manage joint activity on economic development and regeneration as well as, in the case of combined authorities, transport issues. They will be entirely voluntary for local authorities and each council will have to give its express consent before it becomes part of one of these bodies.
Local authorities that are considering setting up an economic prosperity board or combined authority will be expected to consult widely when drawing up their scheme for submission to the Secretary of State.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to make a decision on whether a change in the Use Classes Order to recognise houses in multiple occupation is required; and what assessment he has made of the extent to which local planning policies would need to change in the event of such recognition. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Department is currently consulting on houses in multiple occupation and possible planning responses. The consultation period closes on 7 August, we will then consider the responses and determine a way forward.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 5 May 2009, Official Report, column 141W, on planning permission, what the agreed completion date is of the core strategy of each local planning authority. 
Mr. Ian Austin: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Wright) to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 14 May 2009, Official Report, column 1006W, on this issue in relation to local development frameworks.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost to the construction industry of compliance with conditions attached to planning permissions in respect of (a) great crested newts and (b) bats in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will assess the effects on high street retailers of his Department's planning policies in respect of out of town (a) retailing and (b) warehousing. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The headline indicator of the success of our planning policies has been the proportion of new retail floor space developed within and on the edge of town centres. CLG planning statistics published in November 2008 show that our town centre policies have shown real signs of success. In 1994 only a quarter of new retail floor space was developed within or on the edge of our town centres. By 2006 this proportion increased to 42 per cent.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on town centre development in the last five years. 
Mr. Ian Austin: In the last five years, we and our predecessor Department (The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) have published the following national planning policy and guidance on town centre development:
Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS6): Planning for Town Centres (published 21 March 2005)
Planning for Town CentresGuidance on Design and Implementation Tools (published 21 March 2005)
Looking After Our Town Centres (published 14 April 2009).
On 5 May 2009 we published a consultation draft Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4): Planning for Prosperous Economies. This new PPS incorporates draft PPS 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Development; PPG 5: Simplified Planning Zones; PPS 6: Planning for Town Centres; and the economic development policies in PPS 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas. The consultation documentation for the draft PPS and further details about how to respond are available on the Department's website at:
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to ensure that privately rented housing meets the decent homes standard. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and came into effect on 6 April 2006. It applies to residential properties in England.
The HHSRS assesses 29 categories of housing hazard, each hazard has a weighting which will help determine whether the property is rated as having Category 1 (serious) or Category 2 (other) hazards. For the purposes of the decent homes standard, homes posing a category 1 risk are non-decent on its criterion that a home must meet the statutory minimum requirements.
Local authorities are responsible for the local implementation and enforcement of the HHSRS. If a property is found to contain serious hazards the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action in relation to the hazard.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department plans to take in response to the recent ruling of the High Court on the East of England Plan; and whether he plans to appeal against the ruling. 
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what records his Department maintains of the ways in which local authorities spend funding provided by his Department under the Supporting People programme. 
Mr. Ian Austin: Supporting People expenditure data are collected from local authorities annually via the Supporting People Local System (SPLS) used to report data to CLG. The information is provided by local authorities at service level and is aggregated by CLG to produce an analysis of spend for the financial year by authority, region and nationally. Information published is shown by primary client group; for example, by older people with support needs, mentally disordered offenders and service type, for example, accommodation based service, or Home Improvement Agencies. The information by all client groups and service type is available on the spkweb.
Additional information is also available by secondary client group, accommodation type, provider organisation type, service duration and charging type but does not form part of the published analysis.
In addition to the data provided via the SPLS local authorities were previously required under the Supporting People Grant Conditions to provide audited and commissioning body-approved expenditure figures via CLG web-based data collection and payments processing system logasnet (Local Grants and Subsidy.net).
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have used Supporting People funding to provide wardens for sheltered accommodation in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Ian Austin: The data collected via the Supporting People Local System (SPLS) does not specifically identify expenditure on wardens. However, all of the 150 top tier local authorities have reported expenditure against sheltered and very sheltered accommodation based services which may include warden services.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department provided to each local authority under the Supporting People programme in each of the last three years. 
|SP grant allocations|
Information taken from published and internal sources
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